“I Don’t Know.”

When you land that book deal, it’s tempting to think that you’ve got the writing business figured out. But as soon as people begin asking you questions, you realize…


(Confession: I’ve never read nor watched Game of Thrones, but I’m a meme addict, so there you go.)

The conversation usually goes something like this:

“Wow! You have a book deal? That’s so cool! When can I buy it?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, what’s the cover look like so I’ll know it when I see it?”

“I don’t know.”

“What’s the title?”

“I don’t know.”

“What’s it about?”


Okay, as the author, you should probably know the answer to that last one. Though I won’t fault you for saying, “I don’t know” to that question, either. (I’ve done it.)

Eventually, you do start collecting answers to these questions. But the process is long, and the people in your life probably have no concept of how the publishing business works. It was half a year after my deal announcement before I had a title for my book (it was changed from its original). It was another six months later that I found out what the cover will look like (though I still can’t share it with anyone). As to when my book comes out…


Next summer? At some point?

The thing is, this is normal. It’s normal to not have all the answers–or any of the answers!–as you head down a new road. Well-meaning friends will ask you all sorts of things you can’t answer, and you just have to live with that fact. It’s part of the journey. And what a journey to be on! I don’t think anyone would trade it for anything.

“When will it be on Amazon pre-order?”

“I don’t know.”

“Will you do a book tour?”

“I don’t know.”

“How long will your edits take?”

“I don’t know.”

“Will I ever see you again?”

*sticks head out of revision cave for a moment, squints in the sunlight* “…I don’t know.”

If this sounds obnoxious, don’t worry. Every now and again, you’ll get a question that you do know the answer to.

“So, are you going to quit your day job and buy a mansion in the countryside?”

“Hahaha, NO!”

Katie Headshot.jpgKatie Slivensky’s debut novel (THE COUNTDOWN CONSPIRACY) tells the story of a 13 year-old robotics whiz who is thrilled to be chosen to train for an international mission to Mars, but soon finds herself and her fellow cadets in a situation far more dire and deadly than any of them could have imagined. Publication is set for Summer 2017 with HarperCollins Children’s.

Katie is a science educator at the Museum of Science in Boston, where she coordinates school visits, does live presentations, and runs the rooftop observatory program. She lives in a suburb of Boston with her two completely absurd cats, Galileo and Darwin, and is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette.

Visit Katie on Twitter (@paleopaws) or on her website, www.katieslivensky.com.

1 Comment

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One response to ““I Don’t Know.”

  1. Great encouragement to join the writers!


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